IN 1986 I was asked to be an expert witness at the trial of a poor bastard accused of murdering another man by his former student/girlfriend/mistress who claimed she was his "nin-^ sex slave." You can imagine the uproar in Port Huron, Michigan. Hfe wasri't a ninja and he didn't have a chance, although there seemed to my mind plenty of evidence of his innocence. He was just a not-too-bright tae kwan do teacher taking advantage of the ninja boom and couldn't keep his peanuts in his pants. He went to jail for a long time on hearsay and very sketchy evidence from a teenage girl and a flamboyant attorney waving Original Ninja magazine at the jury. His teenage wife was pregnant. His teenage sex-slave mistress was into drugs. During foggy walks in the riverside park, he told her about the yakuza (Japanese crime families) smuggling boatloads of dope in from Canada. The "ninja" had witnesses he was hundreds of miles away when the very public shotgun killing took place. The girl sex slave and a friend saw him speeding away from the scene in a car. The DA was up for re-election on a get-tough-with-criminals ticket.
The police sent five patrol cars, a SWAT team, and a helicopter to arrest the defendant. Ninjas with sex slaves are dangerous. He had shinai (bamboo training swords) in the trunk of his car and a knoije (large Australian cutting tool) collection that wouldn't quit. Sexuality can create some interesting problems when martial arts are involved, particularly as an adjunct to enlightenment. It's not a good idea to screw up with your students. Save it for your friends or lovers.
In all my years cf training in ninjutsu, sexual practice has never been a formal topic of discussion. Most of the instructors don't think in terms of sex therapy or sexual energy. As "warriors" they tend to be pretty macho and miss out on most of the fun stuff. Usually only the girls in the art know how to dance, which is fine by me. However, as a scholar of Taoism I have noticed that the Chinese students of sexology are a long way ahead of Masters and Johnson, and have been for at least a thousand years. IT excellence in the pursuit of enjoyment includes spirituality in your sexuality, then you really have to face East for your inspiration. In hoshin we researched by comparative analysis where possible, as I like people to be informed concerning topics that are important to their happiness. In this section I'll discuss the psychological map and some physiological results of higher voltage, but if you want to check on the hard wiring and plumbing in the spirit house, check out the books I recommend in the bibliography and throughout these chapters.
To the common mind, sex and spirituality do not mix. (For that matter, neither do martial arts and spirituality seem a winning combination to most conventional thinkers!) Christian saints of the Roman Catholic version tend to be celibate, as do swamis. Tantrism contradicts this popular assumption as does most of history. You probably weren't taught much in junior high about Ben Franklin's girlfriends or Washington's and Jefferson's mistresses. Aside from the Nag Hammadi translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Gospel of St. Thomas, I don't recall ever being told about Jesus's seven female disciples. History is written by the winners or those who hold the power of censorship. If you want to get beyond the junior-high version of practically anything important about people, you have to do your own research and you have to know how to identify bias. Celibacy is a great concept for those who are ignorant concerning sex, or whose experience has been so negative cr unattractive that doing without sex betters their lives. Finding people in the first category is not easy in this age of information and mass media. Those in the second group are on their own.
Celibacy can be a tool for increasing your awareness of your sexuality, and if male, retention of your sperm can enhance your energy, but the resulting increase in sensitivity translated to irritability in most adults is not a pretty sight. There are better ways and they are well documented if you know how to look. This chapter is provided to give you some hints, tools, and preventative measures while ensuring you have a better time than an ascetic. Were Americans. We're allowed to do this. Go for it. Crazy wisdom is for consenting adults.
An interpreter of esoteric traditions that I've come to trust, Georg Feurstein, is the author of Yoga: The Technology of Ecstasy and Holy Madness: The Outer Limits of Religion and Morality. Feurstein writes that Marpa (1012-1097, founder of the Kagyupa school of Vajrayana Buddhism, better known as Tibetan Tantrism) had eight tantric consorts in addition to his chief wife. (Moslems and Mormons are/were allowed four. Nine is a symbolic number to Buddhists.) Milarepa (1040-1143, the most famous of Marpa's students, considered the greatest Tibetan poet) was a folk hero as well as a weather magician. He liked to sing naked, as well as build towers and suffer Marpa's abuse. Milarepa is known to have initiated several of his female devotees. The avadhuta (Zen or "crazy wisdom" form of enlightenment) Drukpa Kunley (1455-1570) initiated more than five thousand women into the sexual secrets of tantrism. As the tantric techniques are similar to the Taoist, that may help to account for his longevity. He also was said to enjoy beer, humor, conflict, and poking fun at his monastic contemporaries and the governing authorities.
The avadhuta tradition or "crazy wisdom" is justified by its practitioners because from their viewpoint the general population needs a more drastic means of awakening to overcome its insensitivity, inability to shake material distraction, lack of compassion, and ignorance of the sacred order. "Shock" therapy is not only preferable but necessary, as the quiet example cf the world-renouncing ascetic is not getting their attention. This insen-sitivity to subtle reality is often encouraged by authoritarian serial institutions as a means to control members. Modern psychologists like Fritz Perls resemble the ancient avadhuta.
In the practice of clinical psychology, most self-destructive neurotic behavior comes out of warped sexuality, perverted religion, or parental abuse. Healing usually requires self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Involvement of the abuser is not necessary to the process of forgiveness and acceptance. Perfectionism is the other major source of neuroses, related to and sometimes refened to as fear of failure. It can also develop into pronounced personality splits. The preferred cure is the realization at the deepest level of the strengths within your weaknesses, and acceptance and ibs f that knowledge. Many of us who grew up in the straight-laced fifties went through a bursting-out process during the sexual revolution of the sixties. Sexuality was never discussed except in awe and horror in the Morris household.
At the age of eighteen when I joined the army, after one year at Penn State studying philosophy, my father decided it was time to give me the words of wisdom to guide my sexual life. HFfe came to my bedroom the night before I left for Basic Training and said, "Keep your mouth shut. Keep your nose clean. Don't go out with girls you are not introduced to!" I know he thought it was helpful. This is from a man with six children. Mom was equally forthcoming. Somewhere between storks and not-very-helpful biology texts there was a reality yet to be experienced, but they weren't giving a clue. It was typical of the time and of Fundamental Christianity. Why conservatives fear the awakening of their children must be connected to guilt, because ignorance is not bliss.
Given the record of sexual gurus in this country, I'll suggest that you're probably better off to experiment on your own or with the cooperation of a good friend and lover. You're not supposed to get too attached to the body. You might put a lot of so-called experts and professionals out of work if you really started to pay attention. The development of chi greatly alters your perspective concerning sex and increases the dangers as well as the pleasures. You. would be foolish to abandon your critical intelligence to a teacher in this important area of learning.
Many of the women (and men) who develop an interest in the martial arts do so out of fear of men, fear of rape, and fear of physical abuse, which has not collapsed into the lethargic acceptance of domination, as they still aren't afraid or unwilling to learn to fight competently. Occasionally women are attracted to the spirituality within martial art, but find little of it in the men who train with them. They often seem to be receiving what they came to learn how to avoid. They may not handle pain well if it reminds them of other things. It is easy to drive such women from the dojo. It is easier to teach a woman who thinks it is fun to fight, or has at least been active in some physical sport like soccer, basketball, or best yet, dance, so she is used to pain. One should never confuse pain with joy, particularly your joy and their pain. Consider the rest of this chapter a guide to your own experimentation.
I had planned to write a long chapter with exercises and meditations, but after reading Margo Anand's The Art of Sexual Ecstasy (Tarcher) I was so impressed by most of her methodology that I'm only going to make a few comments and suggestions. One should read Douglas and Slinger's Sexual Secrets (Aurora) for a historical context as well as another viewpoint which supports and adds to what Ms. Anand has put in the public record. Mantak and Maneewan Chia's books concerning Taoist esoteric yoga and the cultivation of male and female sexuality (see bibliography) should also be read because they are the best internal researchers writing in English. These books will keep you busy and happy for quite a while, and with them you will probably avoid some of the dangers that I'll now describe which apply primarily to men, but not necessarily.
In kung fu some of the schools have names that can be translated as "Softening the Bone," "Shrinkage of Private Part," and "Beneficial Cessation of Desire." A corresponding metaphor in nin-po might be "Tiger Slaying Dragon Ryu." The tiger metaphor has to do with the female energy, learning to be more yin, using the ener gy channels that run up the front of the body. It is usually associated with negative or drawing energy. Men usually have to soften up considerably to even be aware of these meridians and the power that can move through them. I remember a Canadian student of ninjutsu pointing out to me that most of the Japanese senior instructors with their interests in art and dance struck him as being "rather limp-wristed." I pointed out that this was simply a cultural difference and there was no need to guard himself in the shower! I certainly wasn't going to bring up androgyny to him.
Gender-based behavior is largely socialized behavior and has little to do with biological sex, but a lot to do with how we think those of our own gender should act. It is the first part of the social self learned, and at a time when our judgment is least critical, making such behavioral choices a stable part of your personality by as early as the third year. Gender identification is learned personality and part of the structure of the social self and ego. It's part cf what gets killed on the warrior path. Robert Bly and Gloria Steinem are pointing at a reflection.
Westerners tend to pay more attention to the strength that moves up the back, which is considered male or yang. Yang energy tends to be hot, whereas yin energy is cool. Yang energy is associated with the lower chakras and is considered dragon energy; its base color is red. Yin energy is associated with the upper chakras and is considered tiger energy. (It helps to remember that tigers are white in Tibet!) Yin lightens the energy in all the chakras as well as cools the internal organs. In the West we used to speak of being lion-hearted. It might be remembered that the Norse achieved Valhalla by being lifted from their deaths by the female Valkyries.
One might recall the folk wisdom pertaining to "being cool" or the description of someone sexy as "being hot." "Opposites attract" relates to hot women and cool men and usually to hot men and cool women. There may be a relationship between homeostasis and harmony. Similars seem to have the best long-term relationships, but difference may generate higher passion. I've seen descriptions of the colors and energy relating in different ways from what
I've just described, but this is how my personal experience leads me to share these appearances with you. Observe, experiment, and make your own conclusions.
One strengthens the energy in the body through deep belly breathing. The intestines serve as a coil to hold the energy as well as a pump to move it. Breathing techniques that move the intestines as well as fill the lungs are essential to higher energy as well as "higher sex" to use Anand's term. Once skill is developed in breathing, one usually notices that he or she spends an awful lot of time in the pursuit of sexual pleasure (pleasure being more interesting than simple reproduction) .
It seems to me that someone who learned these techniques when young enough to both enjoy and employ them would probably avoid most of the problems that are created when sexuality and spirituality are separated. Courtship and romance are the civilized equivalent of the hunt, and sexual conquest, the kill. It's probably the nicest way to get the hormones pumping. Marriage or acquiring a permanent helpmate can be regarded as the ultimate test, as the ramifications for the skilled hunter and huntress can affect generations. This may seem trite as an observation, but we tend to forget our animal natures when masked by the distractions of the polis. When we think about sex objectively, we also tend to forget that the other gender hunts, too. Marriage between equals is one of the higher forms of spiritual development as well as a reflective symbol used in human alchemy. The recognition of equal and different becoming the same is considered sacred and should be.
I don't pretend to understand women, but there is a Texas truism that has always made me laugh: "The thing that men keep forgetting about women is that if it weren't for procreation, there would be one hell of a bounty on them!" Being somewhat involved in the raising of three very different daughters and having grown up in families with traditions of working women, I like, to quote Bob Seger, "to watch her strut." Kali is the most feared manifestation of Shiva, who is also known as the kind one as well as the destroyer.
There are distinct differences between the sexes that may in some ways explain mating patterns as well as the value of androgyny. I refer to research on brain development and compartmen-talization. The female corpus collosum permits significantly more energy to flow between segments of the brain, strongly suggesting that the bicameral brain is much more of a male problem than one for the female. The corpus collosum is seen by some psychologists as the seat of the Void. As a woman has greater access to her brain's storage capacity, she is more sensitive than a man. She is more alert to smell, touch, and sound. She has better hand-eye coordination. She sees better and is more skilled at reading and projecting the social cues of body language. She smiles more than men when she is not happy and is nicer to people she may not like-which could be considered a positive defense mechanism. She has a better memory for faces and character. These could all be considered side effects of having the right hemisphere of the brain better connected to its left side, which controls verbal expression and relationships. The intuitive is more in touch with communication skills. The mature female maintains closer, longer, and more confidential relationships than is typical of the male. She also seems to know when to cut her losses and split the blanket. AH are strategic characteristics for a martial artist who values survival over conflict. To quote the fictional hard-boiled Detroit detective Amos Walker, "Sweet women lie."
It has been said about American men that maintaining one's lawn is more important than maintaining one's friendships. After the age of thirty the making of new friends is rare for men as most of our energy is put into "getting ahead." It is a sad commentary on life in modern industrialized civilization that the very pursuits that create a comfortable lifestyle for our families can blight personal development. Even successful women have not relaxed the pressure on men to succeed. Success is measured financially. If women are sex objects, then men are success objects. Most embrace the system with little consideration beyond their wallet. The emphasis on financial reward taints activities that were once regarded with respect. We are losing the concepts cf husbandry, craftsmanship, friendship, and individual personal development.
One should really examine what it is to be a human being, what it takes to be happy. What goals are one's own and what have been imposed by the expectations of others? Where is this linear charge taking us? The famous Indian saint Yogananda found he did not have to go to the Himalaya (which he really wanted to do in his youth) because he achieved his heart's desire in his attic bedroom. The pursuit of money alone renders many young men marginal to our society and they are the primary source of crime and violence. Training in a no-competition and no-rules martial art provides friendship, respect, and challenges both physical and spiritual. Measuring others by their income was and still is considered a form of prostitution in my home. I've been rich and poor and at speeds that allowed me to watch the reactions of acquaintances to the rise and fall. Wealth is more fun than poverty but doesn't do much for character. That viewpoint is increasingly rare since Reaganism glorified image over substance beyond all historical precedent. Public power is sexy to some regardless of morality, and the media should pay more attention to the relationship than the act. Everybody screws. How you feel about it during and later is probably more important. I find the increasing sexual dissection of politicos funny, as the media should be delighted that some candidates who actually seem capable of love have been able to maintain relationships with intelligent, educated women, and have not alienated their children or beat them into submissive stereotypes.
Social interaction between the genders always relates to politics and wealth as well as biology. One may notice, if their biogenetic luck of the draw wasn't too good and their energy level not too high to begin with, that sex can be pretty draining. Hence all the warnings about preserving your seed and girding up your loins before battle. Both Chia and Stephen Chang (see bibliography) present a simple solution to this problem through manipulation of the perineum. There are Taoist myths of vampire queens who drained the life force of thousands of youths in order to attain immortality. Harems maintained by males were not described in such negative terms, but it is strongly suggested that friendly sexual interchange with younger women is beneficial to sustaining one's youthful characteristics. What's good for the gander is probably good for the goose even in this day of voracious venereal disease. The French prefer that older women initiate younger men, which eliminates a great deal of male stupidity concerning how to treat women.
1 remember reading an archaeology report of a fifth-century Scottish dig where the sewers of the castle rendered up thousands of little tied-off pieces of sheep intestine. With today's sexually transmitted diseases your protection has to be tougher than mere birth control. It is the friendly interchange that is important. This is exchange of valued energy and healing, loving commitment.
Sex is a waste of time, energy, and effort when partners are tired, aren't loving, enthusiastic, or skilled, or have a death wish. However, wasteful sex on the physical plane is better than no sex at all because one can still fool oneself into feeling loved. Loving touch is remarkably therapeutic. Let us not in our pursuit of spiritual purity forget biological reality. Creating a child is a twenty-year responsibility and should not be treated lightly. I've seen parents who don't have the tools to raise a cat, let alone a viable child. Passing on a venereal disease, like date rape, is not a loving act. Bacterial-based disease does seem to be eradicated by the strengthened immune system. Stephen Chang suggests that high levels of chi prevent venereal disease. My experience is chi only slows down viral-based disease. Viruses are complex and tricky. Flu, herpes, chlamydia, and AIDS are viral. I've no interest in personally testing Dr. Chang's hypothesis, but I'll bet he's wrong. I've had flu two or three times since going through the kundalini and had the opportunity to educate a young friend concerning the spread of chlamydia, which is hard to detect in its early stages in the male, as it is a mild itching in the urethra similar to what you get from too much coffee.
We humans are the sexiest of the primates as well as the most successful in exploiting our environment through the tools and masks of culture. Unlike our less erect cousins, a female human being is always sexually accessible, even during pregnancy and nursing when she is more difficult to impregnate (something of an advantage when you'd like to keep a man about the house or cave). The male of the species has not only the longest but the thickest erect penis of all the 192 species of primates. The human is capable of greater variation, intricacy, and duration than any other animal. Testosterone, the aggression and dominance hormone, is also the sex hormone in both men and women. Testosterone is produced and controlled by the adrenal gland, which also plays a major role in stress management, the martial arts, and the pursuit of enlightenment. Men have twenty times the level of this powerful hormone in their bodies and brains than women, which when combined with the adrenals may account for a certain narrowness of focus. The jokes about women being hormone-driven are probably projective slander.
All the jokes about fallen gurus have in the root the simple equation that love and sex are similar and someone who is highly evolved is also highly sexed. It is how the sexual energy is applied that creates the definition — healing, prophecy, charisma, power-seeking, creativity, and breaking bones all flow from the same source. Higher sex requires sublimating the orgasm as well as exchanging energy with the lover. If one is skilled in the control of energy, penetration is not required to give a loved one orgasmic, loving, balancing, or healing energy. If coitus is involved, the male freezes the moment before ejaculation and then reverses the muscle spasms to pull the semen and sperm back into himself while projecting his energy into what is known as the G spot in the female. Or he could be drawing energy, depending on what the participants are trying to accomplish and their degree of skill. This takes a little practice and control, but it is fun to learn how to do. It requires attentiveness as well as considerable slowing down to capture the moment, because you will want to repeat the experience at will. Testicular kung fu or ovarian kung fu is considered one of the identifying skills of a Taoist master of the martial arts. I found learning it more engaging than the sumo technique of drawing one's testicles up into the body. Fear will do that for me, and faster. I know how to use my adrenal glands.
Penetration is not necessary to exchange energy nor is gender necessarily relevant. Knowing how to "work" your energy or chi cr aura is. Two people can have a lot of fun trying to make it work, trying to make their microcosmic orbits link up. The exchange benefits both participants, if both give freely and with respect, as both are strengthened as well as harmonized. Yin to yang, yang to yin. The yab yum position (couple sits facing in meditation) in Tantric Tibetan lore is probably the most efficacious for this exchange. The tongue and the genitals might be considered the equivalents of male and female plugs for the connecting of the current. The spirit is bioelectrical in nature. This position works best cross-sex when you are relaxed but focused. Back to back is valid same-sex. Nurses trained in therapeutic touch make energy exchanges over considerable distances, as do tai chi and chi kung masters and some very high-level ninjas. It's all similar.
Respect, play, and healing are important parts of the formula. A woman should learn the positions known as the secrets of the plain girl (sexual healing techniques) and master the big draw (life force manipulation). A man at the very least should master nine little heaven (prolonged orgasm techniques) and the million dollar spot (sperm flow retention point) described by Stephen Chang. These are discussed in Sexual Secrets and The Tao of Sexology. Recently published research in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy indicates strongly that women who climax before or with their partners are happier than those who climax after their partners. Today men and women of college age and intelligence want a sexual partner with some experience. What they prefer is that their dates be potential mates and that there is emotional attachment with the involvement. Sexual relationships are preferred when there is more depth than simple mutual masturbation and more to share than simple belly rubbing. Passion far exceeds competence.
When chi is involved, the lover merges with the beloved as intent or feelings penetrate with both physical touch and tasting flowing together in their energy fields. In the beginning it is the soft feather touch of movement in the air above the beloved, and in the end it is stroking wafts of energy massaging the cellular structure of the pleasure centers of your beloved's brain, which can be reached by going down the meridians. The practitioners cf non-contact therapeutic touch and tantric yoga and the esoteric martial artist have similar energy. The difference is in power, not perception. A lover of a physical art is no less a lover than a poet or a scientist and may have some surprising sensitivities not often explored by most people. I no longer can count the people who have been surprised by this knowledge, but were quickly able to take advantage of the benefits.
Now, the warnings for the males in my reading audience. Remember what I said earlier about microwattage increasing as your power increases. If your partner is on a lower wavelength or doesn't have much energy due to lack of physical conditioning or inattention, you will burn her, particularly if you don't bring her to orgasm, or she does not know how to do the "big draw." Women do not appreciate scorched vaginas. Neither do they enjoy migraines, barfing, and being wired out if you can't harmonize your energy to hers. If you don't figure out how to cool your tool you won't be invited back. On the other hand (decidedly left), the ones who do know about full-body, spirit-merging, blissful orgasms of indefinite time period tend to enjoy your attentions and reciprocate. Sometimes they send their friends around to enjoy something really different. I have had sexual partners faint both when dancing and making love; I'm not sure what to make of that other than circuit overload, incipient epilepsy, or good luck. They seemed to regard it as a surprising side effect of ecstasy. It has never happened to me. A prophylactic does not block energy exchange or in any way reduce ecstasy, in my opinion. These days it may even increase your pleasure if you don't know your friend's sexual history.
If sex wasn't much fun for you, or your experiences were primarily negative, as you draw the energy upward away from the genitals to feed the brain, you may find you lose all interest in what goes on below. Some schools of thought consider this a blessing. You may find you are now impotent. The chi-related impotence has two causes. Sex, being primarily negative for you, is no longer a driving force in your life. In other words, clarity cf thought is more important to you than a hard-on. The other reason is you are not in love. The spirit does not lie. You just can't get it up when you don't care. Promiscuity falls by the wayside. Your marriage might too. As your mind and genitals are now connected, spontaneous erections will be a thing of the past. You might have to work harder on your foreplay (it's the dreaded "softening the bone"). The penis functions just fine, only slower. Some cf the sisters inform me a little slowness is appreciated.
There are more than a few warnings in the Taoist literature recommending that a man should be certain of his own skill in generating chi as well as preserving his seed before initiating his female partner, as women are much better at all of this than men are. It has been my experience that if a girl or woman learns how to run the orbit she will be much more powerful both physically and sexually than most men. Being able to join and exchange your energy is the true meaning of soul mates. I won't even try to describe how wonderful that can be and how wrenching and horrible to lose it.
If you are overly rigorous in your pursuit of enlightenment and/or accidentally gain bliss by blowtorch before your body has been properly prepared, your pain and terror will probably forestall all sexual interest and women will be regarded from the Pauline or demonic perspective. It's no fun to be blinded in the desert. Every time you get an erection you tend to fall to your knees and throw up from the intense migraine caused by the energy movement to the skull, which has not been properly prepared to handle the raw, hot, and dry male reproductive voltage. In fact, St. Paul's complaints of symptoms sound remarkably like chi sickness. He also exhibited extraordinary abilities of self-healing, as he sustained substantial beatings and stonings during his ministry. Unlike Jesus, he didn't have much time for the fairer sex. He didn't make friends easily as he took his religion very personally. He was a rabble-rousing ranter and bad-tempered when he called himself Saul. I'll wager that one of the disciples that Saul had stoned to death managed to transfer some chi into him. Once in, it starts working its way to the top and the stronger spirit wins. It doesn't take long.
There are some schools of Magic in both Eastern and Western traditions that purely hate women. Women are to be treated as wicked animal distraction and regarded as demons. It's easily understood. Here's a perfectionist, been saving up his sperm for many years. Responsible for training young monks. He can read emotions. He can feel the inside of his liver. He's pure as the driven snow until the hot little tart that serves his food mentally whacks him in the pineal gland and starts providing all kinds of distractions that the founding fathers claim lead to damnation. He doesn't have any defenses; it's not part of his training. Monks don't get to spend much time around women until they've got a fair chance of fighting them off. Now, if this happens often enough, the scholars are going to get together to save the recruits from the horrors cf losing their seed, or getting married and dropping out. They'll figure out "How to Have Power Over Women." If they're of the demon-regarding school, there's always exorcism or death.
You ever notice it's almost always the girls who get possessed or burned at the stake? Fear and intolerance quickly become institutionalized in stable societies. Women in many parts of Asia are treated only slightly better than a Doberman pinscher. When Drukpa Kunley initiated five thousand women he was a living Buddha. He was making a statement about human rights, women as spiritual vessels, guaranteeing the knowledge would be passed on to children, and probably having some fun too. Jokes about him are still told in Tibet today. He seems like a Holy Till Ullen-spiegle. In Tibetan tantrism every male deity has a female consort who to an outsider would appear to be exceptionally bad news. Janusian females. Read up on Kali. Goddess worship can be pretty high-risk. Jesus liked to exchange footwashing. Kinesi-ology is another easy way to exchange energy.
Sexual energy is the primary tool of transmission by a tantric master or mistress. The spirit is not only energy but intent. Inten-tionality is a direction by definition. Knowledge to some extent can be transferred; at least feeling can. Powerful people's energy fields extend quite a distance from their bodies, and the more unrefined spirit begins to evolve simply through contact with their fields. When an energy master gives you his or her energy, it will change you. If you have not already opened yourself, the process will begin with or without your acceptance. It will just take much longer if you're not an active participant. Your spirit learns from her spirit. I describe some interchanges in the chapter "Exchanges with Interesting People."
In the martial arts we refer to this as "the stronger spirit wins." The process is more than behavioral monkey see, monkey do. It's a privilege to be beaten by a master. Energy has emotional content. It's another reason why happily married people begin to look and act alike. I once had a girl tell me that all the godan and above in the Togakure Ryu were "as alike as peas in a pod" in their attitudes. We all seem pretty different to me, but then I don't have her perspective. Being a yondan at the time, I would like to think she was reacting to the calm acceptance of others, the gentleness, or the intensity. Training as a hobbyist I'm not around that much. I usually only attend a seminar or two a year and have never studied under one particular teacher for any length cf time. I do know that for the most part many of them do not seem tantric, nor shamanic, nor biologically enlightened. The higher energy is not always there. Taijutsu yes; the Void not yet. Only Hatsumi and one or two others continuously manifest, and as we're talking about a handful out of a hundred and fifty, I'd say the system is remarkably effective. After all, what is the ratio of enlightenment in the general public, or for that matter in our institutions that are designated for that particular project? I had a Catholic priest friend tell me one time that he liked vacationing at the monasteries because he felt the odds were about one in ten thousand there of meeting someone who was enlightened, as opposed to one in a million in the general population. He's still looking for light in all the wrong places. Even Merton went East.
If your spirit is weak or untrained, you are a sitting duck for anyone with a stronger spirit who has designs on you and even a rudimentary skill at energy manipulation. Or worse yet, someone who drains your energy and is incapable of generating their own. They're usually unaware that their negative mindset affects their energy and affects those with whom they interact. They're not vampires, they're just lost. I once had this verified by a woman I worked with who taught me a lot through sharing her experience and doing things to me that she'd think up.
In casual conversation about her neurotic boyfriend, she once laughed, "I used the Big Draw on him and really drained him. He nearly passed out. He didn't like it one bit!'' She could lay two fingers on your hand with a gentle swirling movement and you could feel her move energy anywhere in your body. She could make you smile or laugh at twenty feet. (He didn't catch on and he didn't improve. They didn't get married.)
The major meridian of the heart which also connects into the brain and the genitals gets involved with sex. There is a story about William James under the influence of an anodyne asking the spirit of the drug the reason for psychological suffering. In the morning he found he had written:
"Higamous, hogamous Woman is Monogamous Hogamous, Higamous Man is Polygamous."
He was not impressed, but from an anthropological perspective I've always thought it rather profound. Some biographers claim it was laughing gas and others mescaline.
Sex is still sex regardless of the intent, and all that wonderful creative energy is expressed in its most fundamental and biological power. Those skilled in chi kung simply draw off the energy at its rawest source and-use it for transcendence rather than reproduction.
Tantric practice is also supposed to be a powerful method for birth control as it operates on two levels: preserving the seed and drawing off the little swimmers' energy in case any escape. The ignorant simply follow their biological and socially reinforced proclivity. The results are sometimes the same. Make love, not war.
There is a pretty strong rumor that one of the Tibetan tantric masters at Naropa who was a teacher of crazy wisdom confused sex and gender with androgyny and infected quite a few of his followers with HIV. Many are now dying of AIDS. He may have just about wiped out a major portion of the school. Good intention does not kill viruses. Safe sex avoids the disease as well as the issue. Being able to discriminate between fantasy and reality, I can't really recommend abstinence. Chinese medicine is no more infallible than our Western traditions but still has a great deal more to offer in knowledge of the bioelectric. Viruses are a domestic problem.
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